Monday, August 07, 2006

Democratic Access Revisited, Google Blinds Competition?

A few months ago I wrote a post about Democratic Access to location content saying -

"Google, Yahoo and Microsoft have all started providing different kinds of location content to consumers and technical folks alike through mapping services, allowing a bit more "democratic" access to location-based content. But I suppose the Google, Yahoo and Microsoft approach is to own as much data as money can buy. However, another approach is to facilitate the viewing and sharing of any location content available in the new Internet democracy, wherever (or whoever) it comes from."

It seems the discussion was a bit more 'prescient' than I thought - a recent post on the Geowanking mail list claims that Google has -

"licensed ALL of Digital Globe's imagery on an exclusive basis for online presentation"

This could effectively blind the online competition in many cases - no imagery, no pretty maps.

The post does go on to say that Digital Globe referred the requestor to GeoEye, another commercial satellite imaging company and their competitor.

Democratic access indeed.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative 2.5 License and is copyrighted (c) 2006 by The Carbon Project.


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